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Jadeveon Clowney Inks Endorsement Deal With Puma

On Thursday months of speculation surrounding the draft stock of South Carolina standout defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will mercifully be put to rest once and for all. Considering he’s been the frontrunner to go No. 1 overall since January 2013 and on the eve of the 2014 NFL Draft remains the odds-on favorite, there sure has been an awful lot of talk about his supposed sinking stock.

Well, you can count Clowney among those who haven’t bothered getting wrapped up in all the manufactured draft drama. This week he signed his first big endorsement contract, and as we’ve come to expect from Clowney by now, his choice was anything but ordinary.

With industry giant Nike having already locked down deals with every top quarterback in the draft this year—a list that includes Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, UCF’s Blake Bortles, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, and Fresno State’s Derek Carr—Clowney opted instead to sign with Puma. That per a report from ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

On his surprising choice Clowney said, “I just want to be part of something different. Why not change it up?” The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Clowney was presented with a custom pair of snakeskin Pumas valued at $2,500. Said president of Puma North America Jay Piccola, “He represents everything we are and the consumer we are trying to attract.”

The same can also be said for New Era, Wilson and Gillette, all of which have signed Clowney in 2014. “I’m going to carry my name as far as I can,” said Clowney, adding, “I’ll have a new hit for you too. Stay tuned. It’s going to come.” The promise being an obvious reference to his hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith during the 2013 Outback Bowl.

Clowney absolutely leveled Smith, single-handedly turning the tide for the Gamecocks after an inexplicably and unforgivably botched call almost cost them the game. There may be no athlete in history more positively impacted by a single play than Clowney.

That’s the exact moment he went from South Carolina standout to certified superstar. Next up for Clowney is an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and, of course, the NFL Draft.

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